Claiming Rights

by Patrick Appel

Josh Marshall makes a distinction:

In the abstract, there's nothing particularly magical about the people behind [the Park 51] project. Certainly, in various ways, they could have planned things differently, marshaled supporters more effectively, simply run their project more competently. And in our reporting I've always tried to hold to the basic fact -- which is what I think President Obama was trying to do to -- that there's nothing magical about having an Islamic community center in that part of Lower Manhattan. When larger and more important principles come into play, it's always good to resist romanticizing the people whose actions, intentionally or not, put those principles on the line. Not because there's anything defensive about but because you don't need to be perfect to claim your rights.